Week 2: Jumping in

This week the trainee hacks on the Big Issue have been looking at the idea of writing for an audience, the pros and cons of this, with a few debates thrown in. Interesting stuff…

Whilst there are a number of budding investigative scribes on the scheme who would prefer to be blowing lids open on injustices and abuses within care homes, pupil referral units, and the likes thereof, essentially Answers From Big Issue is about having a look at community based schemes, projects and initiatives that are filling a gap or providing much needed solutions to problems within local communities and wider society as a whole (which is a good look too).

So with Answers From Big Issue being the online publication that we’re writing for in the here and now, we consider our readers: a cross section between public sector and community based workers, marginalised souls that identify with the vision behind The Big Issue and a sprinkling of everyone else to boot!

In light of this, I began to strive forwards developing my story, which focuses on ‘difficult to place’ children languishing in foster care. My dad had many carers as a child, and in light of that, this is an issue very close to my heart.  I’ve also had experience of mentoring children in care for Kensington & Chelsea council, therefore I’m more than aware of the technicalities and problems faced by this client group.

Week 2 also included:

* Identifying ten tips for effective writing, further tips for writing for the web and a look a various features that we would hold up as good examples in terms of journalistic writing (for mine I picked:

* A brainstorming session around what makes news and a look at how to contrast headlines.

* Applying the inverted pyramid (a system for presenting news in a story) through a very simple diagram sheet and an exercise in putting together a basic news story.

And finally, we began to navigate through the world of press releases and PRs to work on the stories we’ve been briefed to. A bit of mean feat with the sweltering heat. But hey, gotta crack on with the job and file copy!

As for me, I’m looking forward to next week’s sessions: Not so much to the fact that it might touch 35 degrees in London, but to get stuck into some photo-journalism projects because I love the way that a picture can tell a story that words often can’t.

By Danielle Aumond

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